Headphone simulation of free-field listening. II: Psychophysical validation

J Acoust Soc Am. 1989 Feb;85(2):868-78. doi: 10.1121/1.397558.


Listeners reported the apparent spatial positions of wideband noise bursts that were presented either by loudspeakers in free field or by headphones. The headphone stimuli were digitally processed with the aim of duplicating, at a listener's eardrums, the waveforms that were produced by the free-field stimuli. The processing algorithms were based on each subject's free-field-to-eardrum transfer functions that had been measured at 144 free-field source locations. The headphone stimuli were localized by eight subjects in virtually the same positions as the corresponding free-field stimuli. However, with headphone stimuli, there were more front-back confusions, and source elevation seemed slightly less well defined. One subject's difficulty with elevation judgments, which was observed both with free-field and with headphone stimuli, was traced to distorted features of the free-field-to-eardrum transfer function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation*
  • Amplifiers, Electronic
  • Auditory Perception* / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychoacoustics*
  • Sound Localization* / physiology